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Cascades wolf killed

Posted by Jasmine Minbashian at Sep 27, 2013 11:15 AM |

Yesterday we were disappointed to learn the disturbing news of yet another wolf killed in the North Cascades. Details are forthcoming, but action to stop the unnecessary loss of wolves in these areas--getting us that much closer to recovery--should not be.

Cascades wolf killed

A wolf killed in the Cascades reminds us that populations in the area are small, so we must do what we can to stop unnecessary losses.

Yesterday we were disappointed to learn the disturbing news of yet another wolf killed in the North Cascades. Andy Walgamott of Northwest Sportsman reported the scant information that currently exists on the incident.  Here’s what we do know, gleaned from a report from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife:

Pasayten Wolf Mortality: Biologist Fitkin and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Biologist Rohrer assisted Officers Christensen, McCormick and Treser with an investigation of a wolf killed by a hunter in the Pasayten Wilderness. The animal appeared to be a young, uncollared adult female in good condition. We have not previously verified wolf activity in this portion of the wilderness area and don’t know if the animal is part of an active pack or a solo wanderer. The circumstances of the animal’s death remain under investigation.

The Pasayten Wilderness is in the North Cascades recovery region, where only two known breeding pairs have been confirmed by state biologists.  Wolves in this region are still protected under the federal Endangered Species Act and under the state’s wolf conservation and management plan.  The North Cascades region has been sadly plagued with illegal wolf kills in the last five years, slowing recovery and making us ask: Why? And how do we change this unfortunate pattern? At this rate of loss, recovery will take much longer if we don’t step up. 
 
For starters, we think more education and outreach is needed to hunters who hold permits within the territory of known wolf packs. The US Fish and Wildlife Service can assist the state and play a valuable role in providing resources and expertise to help with this effort, but instead they have announced they are looking to abandon wolf recovery in the Cascades in the coming year.  Losing additional resources for wolf recovery will certainly not help this tenuous situation.
 
Conservation Northwest helped organize an Eyes in the Woods training in the Methow Valley this spring, and we are organizing another this October 23rd in Cle Elum – near Teanaway Pack territory. We’ve also partnered with WDFW wildlife enforcement to create a reward fund for any information leading to the conviction of anyone who had killed protected wildlife illegally. 

But clearly more needs to be done.  We call on USFWS, WDFW to join us in stepping up efforts to reduce human-caused death of wolves in the North Cascades.

We’ll keep you posted as we learn more details about this case.

Comment note: All comments are moderated. We reserve the right to publish comments as we choose. We will not post comments that are inflammatory or derogatory or stray outside our commenting guidelines.
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Wolf poaching

Posted by William Mark Casebier at Sep 28, 2013 09:46 PM
Education would go a long way in preventing Illegal wolf kills, A brochure detailing the state's and hunter's responsibilities in protecting the wolf population. The hunter population may be convinced by superstition that he is doing good by shooting the dreaded wolf.

comment to William Mark Casebier

Posted by Gary Ott at Sep 29, 2013 06:15 PM
I am not convinced that a brochure would be very effective. I think we need to go farther than that. As a part of any hunting license it should be required that the hunter sign a contract stating that he/she has read the brochure and agrees to abide by its content.

Another comment to William Mark Casebier

Posted by Gary Ott at Oct 05, 2013 09:06 AM
  Maybe they should also be required to carry pepper spray. It is considered a more effective self defense than a firearm. A close friend of mine recently posted a story of wolves on Face Book. They were in a remote area of Idaho taking a walk with their dog when they came across several wolves at an elk kill site. One wolf watched then ran directly at them. Tim yelled and the wolves ran off. I have re-posted the story on my FB page where it can be viewed or referenced back to the source. The moral of the story is that some people are programmed by fear and fairy tales while others have better instincts.

Wolf Recovery

Posted by Laura Finch at Sep 28, 2013 09:46 PM
This is one of the reason why they should stay on the Endangered List. You have people out there that don't care about what they kill, as long as they can Brag to their Buddies. These people that are doing this need to have a Huge Fine or Jail Time for their Crime, maybe if enough of them get this Punishment they will think twice about doing it. I think there should be More Game Wardens out there catching these Morons in the Act. Place them wear you no there is a known Wolf Packs.

response to Laura Finch

Posted by Gary Ott at Sep 29, 2013 06:11 PM
Part of the problem is that there are no teeth to the laws regarding violations of the endangered species act. In the recent case of poachers here in the Methow Valley not only killing wolves but violating practically every law you can think of about wildlife, the two individuals busted, with plenty of evidence,were fined and never spent a minute in jail. One was not even convicted of a felony. The investigation cost more than the fines. Both are seen by many in this community as heroes that stood up to the law and were then persecuted by the big bad government. The judge claimed he did not want to give jail time because he received 10 letters from community members saying what nice people they are. Well, the same could have been true for the Nazi war criminals. How many people (me included)did not write letters for a harsher sentence because they didn't want their names on the record against criminals that kill for fun.

Hunter education

Posted by Gary Ott at Sep 28, 2013 09:47 PM
This latest incidence of a wolf being killed by a hunter may be an indication that hunters need to be educated about wolf behavior and especially about their behavior around a den site or a food source that wolves may be defending. Considering the blizzard of anti-wolf hysteria that is prevalent in the American West an education program may be necessary to counter act the deliberate propaganda that has characterized wolves as dangerous to humans. The evidence clearly does not indicate this to be true. It remains to be seen what story will be told about the most recent incident, but it is highly unlikely that the wolf attacked the the hunter.

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